As much as any major city, food crazes have a habit of coming and going in DC in quick succession. PX, The Gibson and The Columbia Room, among others, ushered in a wave of craft cocktail programs and speakeasies.
From their home, any Borderstan resident can probably walk to four or five mid-price-range restaurants with exposed brick or a converted post-industrial decor.
For some trends, the jury’s still out: craft ice, anybody? But there’s no doubt that at least two of these concepts have taken root in this city, and have demonstrated incredible staying power: cupcakes and frozen yogurt.
To wit: Georgetown Cupcake’s lines still regularly stretched around the block; and the ever present expansion of yogurt-serving shops SweetGreen, Fro Zen Yo and Pinkberry.
Cupcakes and Yogurt
It’s into these markets that YOCAKE boldly steps in. Located on the very southern edge of the Borderstan neighborhood, YOCAKE is the second location of a Bethesda-based brand that sells both cupcakes and frozen yogurt. It’s not a new model by any means (see: the TangySweet/Red Velvet Cupcakery mashup on P Street, or cupcake sales at Mr. Yogato), but unlike other previous attempts, it’s one brand behind both.
Sitting on the second floor of a townhouse, the look is polished and clean and quasi-futuristic, with its use of purples and silver and glass. In many ways, it’s quite a juxtaposition from its neighbors on the block: bars/lounges like Mighty Pint and Ozio, kabob houses and the strip club Camelot.
The array of cupcakes is impressive: solid favorites like red velvet or triple chocolate are interspersed with lavender lemon, almond and pear and peaches and cream. The cupcake recipes from the brother-sister team that own YOCAKE are derived from their mother’s French culinary training, though we’re told that “they’ve been sweetened a little” to match the American palate.
And then there’s the piece d’resistance: the eponymous YOCAKE itself, a serving that features a cupcake topped by frozen yogurt. On this trip, we didn’t have a chance to taste it, but the thought itself sounds quite decadent.
Located at 1829 M Street, YOCAKE is now open for business.